'OHI How to Gather and Arrange Hawai'i's Flora

Our book — 'OHI Gathering and Arranging Hawai'i's Flora —  is almost here and we couldn't be more excited.  Paiko founder, Tamara Rigney and photographer, Mariko Reed have been wandering the island, visiting friends’ backyards, and seeking out some of Oahu’s most classic homes to inspire you to bring Hawai’i's nature indoors. Available now for pre-order, 'OHI is sure to be an island staple.

‘OHI means to gather in Hawaiian.  In the book, Rigney and Reed share their methods for sourcing, harvesting, and caring for island flora.  ‘OHI provides detailed profiles, paired with original illustrations by artist Jeff Canham, of favorite plant and flower varieties; from backyard staples like parakeet heliconia and monstera, to the less-common uluhe fern and shampoo ginger. 

ohi paiko

The book also contains detailed design tips to help recreate the arrangements.  Also helpful is a list of useful tools and materials.

ohi paiko philodendron mariko reed

A celebration of Hawai'i’s abundant plant life and the resourcefulness of island living, ‘OHI shows you that fresh flowers don’t have to be a luxury, beautiful arrangements can be created from what’s around you.

ohi paiko anthurium

Available in the shop November 12th, ‘OHI makes the perfect holiday gift, or lets be honest, personal gift. With your newfound inspiration, your home will be filled with flowers year-round.

P.S. Save the date, Thursday Nov 17th we'll be celebrating ‘OHI at the Surfjack Hotel & Swimclub from 6-9pm!  




In the midst of summer bougainvillea season, we stumbled across this incredible house on the south shore. We had to share!

Requiring little water and maintenance, bougainvillea is the answer if you're looking to brighten up your yard. Don't have a yard? These guys need tons of sun so they're not practical for indoors, but they can do well in large pots with good drainage. 

We don't carry boug at Paiko but find it at your local garden center or propagate your own from cuttings you find around town. For full propagating instructions check out this article.

Photos by Kenna Reed


Meet our friend Meleana: fashion designer, columnist for Hawaii Luxury magazine, and master lei maker. A couple times a year Meleana teaches a special workshop at Paiko on the art of haku. Catch the next one on Wednesday July 18th

I know your grandmother was a haku master. Do you think you would be so passionate about haku were it not for her?

Yes, My Tutu was an amazing lei maker.  Her fascination and love the traditional style of lei making turned into a business for her, but she never made one lei that was not completely filled with Aloha.  She always thought of her client and their personal look and likes and catered each lei to match them. She shared her lei in the most giving way with nothing expected in return.  With all that being said, yes, I can completely attribute my love for lei making and the spirit of sharing a lei to my Tutu.  She was also known for her wreaths, puakenikeni leis and frequently did large projects such as weddings and funerals, taking on any floral challenge.  

My cousins and I would help her or just sit at her table and talk to her while she worked and we were always adorned ourselves, for EVERY occasion so it is ingrained in all of us.  Personally, my own passion for lei making developed recently since she has passed and I LOVE to make Haku leis.  I love the architecture and color combination of a Haku lei.  My cousins make the most beautiful Puakenikeni leis and mine are terrible!  My sister loves to Haku as well, but makes the most stunning bouquets, using her techniques.  We all have something we have gravitated to.


Do you follow the same technique as your grandmother or is your style different?

Yes, I follow and teach the same Wili style of Haku Lei making that she used and taught.  In the past year I have also enjoyed learning different techniques for different styles of leis… if there is a particular material I want to work with, I play with different techniques to make that flower or fern shine!  I definitely have a different style that my Tutu… I will never be as good!  I try and try but its a work in progress!  She had an effortless way with flowers… they obeyed her, she loved them and anything she touched turned out stunning.

Do you have a favorite haku flower combination?

I can’t say I have a complete favorite, but I am a LOVER of color.  Any chance I get to use Mamo, the bright yellow Lehua I am thrilled.  That combined with some hot pink ti-leaf is gorgeous!  I love to use the native Palapalai as my fern…. its not always easy to find and its delicate, but so so pretty.  



Whats the last haku plant material experiment that was a success? Any that were failures?

I made a lovely anthirium lei for a photo shoot.. I was suprised it came out!  I had a lei flop using big hibiscus.  I couldn’t resist trying because the colors are so fantastic, but it didn’t survive for more than an hour!  


What’s most interesting to you about teaching haku?

I love how every student just goes for it!  Maybe I am used to workshops where you were told the lei had to turn out a certain way, but people are so creative!  I love that every student takes my instruction and just goes for it and everyone is so stoked and proud of their finished lei, when none of them look at all the same!  I am also so impressed with how fast everyone makes a lei!  It would take me 5 hours when I was younger!  I love sharing this skill, it is so fun and gratifying!




So this past week, my man and I decided to take a quick bae-cation and hop on over to the island of Hawai'i aka Big Island. The people were sweet, the food was tasty, the beaches were fun, but the PLANT LIFE was RIDICULOUS. Big Island, you are unreal. 

Photos by Kenna Reed
Story by Kenna Reed


Flowers from your man, flowers from your lady, flowers from yourself... They all have one thing in common. We want them to last. We trim their stems under water and change their water as soon as it looks a little cloudy, but what else can we do? Flower Food. 

We decided to test out three homemade flower food recipes, compare the results to plain water and tell you what we think! So here goes: 


Recipe #1
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp hydrogen peroxide
1 qt water

Recipe #2
2 tsp Sprite
1 tsp hydrogen peroxide
1 qt water

Recipe #3
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp hydrogen peroxide
1 qt water

For the experiment we tested out umbrella ferns, philodendrons, molokai orchid stems, pincushion proteas, Obake anthuriums and a mini anthurium.

Our Conclusions: 

  • Anthuriums prefered the Sprite mixture, resulting in flowers that lasted about 3-5 days longer than the rest. 
  • Pincushion proteas really did not like the vinegar mixture, it actually caused the prongs on the flower to bend backwards! Sorry pro-pro. 
  • Orchids didn't seem to show much variation in logevity, however the sugar mixture did seem to help more of the buds to open. 
  • The umbrella fern, as well as, the philodendron did slightly better in the lemon mixture.





We also noticed that the lemon mixture causes the water to appear cloudy, making the water seem dirty. Simple solution, use an opaque vase. 

So go ahead and experiment- hopefully you'll get a few more days out of your blooms!









Photos: Kenna Reed
Story: Kenna Reed
Art: Harry Tsuchidana


After rushing around like busy bees all spring, we're finding a new appreciation for mellow days just kicking it at home. Coffee and the New York Times, followed by closet organization, sandwiches, flower arranging, a run, then a wine lubricated evening in the kitchen makes for a darn good day in our book. 

With all this home-time it's important that our houses are filled with good vibes. Enter the smudge stick. A derivative of a Native American cultural practice, burning these wrapped bundles of white sage is a way to purify your space and introduce serenity. Simply slowly wave the smoking bundle around your home, making sure to hit entryways and corners, places where rumor has it, negative energy likes to stagnate.

paiko smudge stick

We've got a few different sticks in the shop, including a gorgeous rose petal wrapped number by Catherine Rising. Stop by and start cleansing! 


Photo: Kenna Reed
Story: Tamara Rigney


It's April and you know what that means... The start of one of our favorite seasons: Plumeria Season. So what does one do with herself during this glorious time of year? Press pause, take a walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the view (and smell). 

With dozens of species and hybrids, you can find plumerias in almost every shade of white, red, pink, and yellow. Their fragrance varies by species, with some recalling sweet fruit punch and some with more delicate floral notes.  We love them all- it's almost impossible to pick a favorite.

If you're interested in growing your own plumeria tree, don't waste your time looking for and sprouting seeds. Simply find the tree you admire most, ask for permission, and propagate a cutting.  You can do this by cutting a branch 1-2 feet from the tip, letting the cutting dry out for at least a week, and then planting it in soil with good drainage. 

Tada! Plumerias for everyone! 


If you haven't visited Lyon Arboretum in Manoa Valley, do it. Like this week. The UH owned arboretum is one of our favorite spots on the island: a lush corner of the valley full of rare plants, meandering well kept trails, and yes giant screaming tropical birds.

Visiting Lyon with a picnic is always fun, but did you know they also have a full line up of classes? Check out sessions on indigo dying, botanical jewelry crafting, and DIY tree pruning.  See ya there!

photo: www.trailsoffreedom.org


We're STILL obsessed with baby pineapples. We use them in all their forms; on stems in arrangements, loose to adorn our desks, and growing tall (and ridiculously cute) in our favorite terra cotta planters. 

So what to do after you're done enjoying your little fruit? 

Just like their larger, edible relatives, miniature pineapples can be sprouted into new plants. 

All you'll need are these: A cutting board, three toothpicks, a small vessel filled with water, a sharp (preferably serrated) knife and most importantly, your baby pineapple. 


First, remove the top by cutting about an inch below the crown.  



Then, gently twist the remaining meat off the crown. 

Your deconstructed pineapple should now consist of three parts. 



Peel the base leaves from the crown until you are left with something that looks like this. We ended up peeling off about three layers. 

Poke three toothpicks into the base of your crown (about an inch to a half inch higher than the base) making a triangle formation. This will allow the crown to suspend above the water, preventing rot. 

Your finished product should look like this. 

Be sure the base of your pineapple top is always touching the water and that your water is always clean. Use hydrogen peroxide to clean your vessel weekly to avoid bacteria build up. Place your vessel somewhere with a decent amount of indirect sunlight and in a matter of weeks, your pineapple should begin to sprout a new root system. Once a substantial amount of roots have been established, your baby pineapple is ready to be replanted! 


An Evening of Haku with Meleana Estes

We've just added two workshop dates with our friend, designer and expert lei maker, Meleana Estes. Join us for a special evening where she passes on the beautiful tradition of haku, teaching us from an overflowing collection of local and temperate flowers and foliages. And yes, there will be cocktails!

Easter Workshop with Wrappily

Join Sara Smith from Wrappily for this festive Easter workshop. Sara will be guiding us in creating blooming easter baskets and colorful seed bomb 'eggs' using her favorite medium- gorgeous Wrappily paper.  Enjoy your creations for the Easter weekend then plant your 'eggs' to sprout a beautiful, pollinator friendly, wildflower garden.   

Signup for all of our workshops at paikohawaii.com


I'm sure by now you've heard all about the latest addition to our shop: ARVO. And just when you thought having an Australian coffee bar in your favorite neighborhood wasn't exciting enough, they brought us this ... *drumroll* ... A BOOZY BRUNCH. 

And what better day to kick off the new tradition than Valentine's Day. Just in case you missed it, here are a bunch of photos to get you pumped for the next big one. 

Don't forget about the mimosa bar, stocked with fresh fruits and juices. 

Matcha chia pudding with fresh fruit and a matcha whip, loaded avocado toast, and their latest green tea lattes are just a few of the things you can all look forward to. 

These ARVO sessions will be happening monthly and we can't wait to see you at the next one! Stay posted for more details.

photos and story by Kenna Reed


Without fail, anytime our flower bar is stocked with these beauties, people come running. I present to you, the King Protea. 

The King Protea has the largest bloom in the massive protea family. Native to South Africa, they grow as a shrub and bloom most prolifically in the winter. The large "flower" is actually a collection of tiny true flower heads surrounded by colorful bracts that can be white, yellow, red, or the most sought after, pink. 

paiko king protea

Proteas love extreme weather conditions: dry summers and cold wet winters, so your efforts at growing them in Honolulu will be poorly rewarded. But lucky for us, the temperate climate on the high slopes of the Big Island and Maui provide perfect conditions for these artichoke-like bad boys. We work with a handful of small farms to stay stocked.


Cut the stems at an angle when you get home to get them drinking. Keep your kings fresh with water changes every few days and a floral preservative. Make your own preservative with a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, a teaspoon of lemon, and a teaspoon of sugar.

And did mention they dry beautifully? When your arrangement looks tired, hang the kings upside-down to dry (this helps preserve their shape), then enjoy them for years.

image from http://swallowsnestfarm.blogspot.com/2012/05/drying-proteas.html

image from http://swallowsnestfarm.blogspot.com/2012/05/drying-proteas.html


Photos by Kenna Reed unless noted
Written by Kenna Reed

Christmas at Paiko

The construction wall is down, our halls are decked, and we're ramping up for Christmas like a boss. Here are a few ideas for making your home festive and your friends happy.

Fresh wreaths made by the lovely Paiko ladies. Don't forget you can also sign up for a workshop and make your own!

Kokedama moss balls in all species and sizes! And another holiday workshop option. 

Nunu ornaments. These intricate little sea critters are made with locally sourced natural materials by an A-nunu-mous local artist. 

Dried wreaths made by our friends over at Lyons Arboretum in Manoa. These beauties are made with locally sourced materials and can be used for years to come. 

Your favorite llamas made by local artist, Dee Oliva. Now with a holiday twist! Llamas gotta stay warm during the chilly Hawaiian winter.

Pareos from Kealopiko's latest collection. 

Potted local orchids (this one's about to bloom!) in some of our classic terra cotta wash pot planters.

See ya in the shop soon! 

Photos by Kenna Reed
Written by Kenna Reed



Azuma Makoto

Some artists work with paint, and some with clay; Azuma Makoto works with plants. His fantastical living sculptures and installations harness the mysterious energy embodied in the botanical, giving credibility to the often dismissed medium of flowers. And yes, last year he sent a bonzai tree and floral sculpture into space for his piece Exobiotanica.
Here at Paiko we are in awe of Makoto, and you will be too. 

Plant Man, 2015

Plant Man, 2015

Exobiotanica, 2014

Exobiotanica, 2014

Iced Flowers, 2014

Iced Flowers, 2014

In Bloom #2, 2015

In Bloom #2, 2015

Petal Box, 2015

Petal Box, 2015

All photos from http://azumamakoto.com/